Etsy Adventures: The Jasmine Gallery, BEAM Textiles and susujane
From furniture to fashion, you can pretty much find anything on Etsy. As an online global marketplace for artists to sell their creations, Etsy has made searching for unique handcrafted work simple, fun and, let’s just say, sometimes a little too easy. Although the site has been around for some time, it continues to draw a steady stream of new vendors looking to set up shop and reach their customers directly.
With its strong sense of style and loyalty to local business, Austin is a natural hotbed for rising Etsy superstars. Callie Thompson, Misty Incontrera and Jasmine Turner, three artists whose work embodies the je ne sais quoi of Austin’s casual chic, are examples of successful virtual shopowners.
Jasmine Turner opened her Etsy storefront, The Jasmine Gallery, in 2008 hoping to grow her jewelry-making hobby into a viable business. Having apprenticed under a local jeweler for over a year, she learned the business side of the craft and eventually decided to pursue her own venture, capitalizing on her love of fashion and knowledge of trends.
“I’m an artist and my jewelry is an expression of my creative drive. I’m constantly walking a fine line between what is out there already and what I create myself.”
Not one to shy away from unexpected juxtapositions in her designs, Turner created her bestselling piece — a large aqua aura quartz set in an antiqued bullet casing — when she noticed a couple of years ago how “the nature vibe was mixing with utilitarian.”
She was clearly onto something and hit the trend right on, as she has sold “hundreds to people around the world,” acknowledging that it is a piece “that people tend to love and really identify with.”
So what’s the next hot item from The Jasmine Gallery? Well, Turner admits that leather is her favorite material, so she’s looking forward to creating some entirely new pieces for fall.
“I see a shift in fashion and I like to take it and roll with it.”
Turner’s work can be found through her Etsy shop, Schatzelein and via her personal website, thejasminegallery.com
After having studied art at Dartmouth College and Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, Callie Thompson decided it was time to cultivate her creativity right here in Austin.
Although her artistic style has evolved since opening her Etsy shop in 2007, she has remained focused on consistently producing an assortment of abstract prints.
“I’ve always been a maker, I’ve always loved making things by hand. It was so brilliant of the founder of Etsy to think that a community could be formed around that idea of a handmade marketplace.”
The BEAM textiles extension of her brand was a recent addition to her virtual shop, and the small collection includes silk, linen and light cotton renditions of her abstract paintings.
“It’s really fun, it brings a whole new dimension to my paintings, instead of a flat piece, you have this voluminous thing that you can wear or touch — it’s really more accessible than painting.”
And we aren’t the only ones who have picked up on Thompson’s talent. If you look closely at West Elm’s fall catalog, you’ll notice her prints in the background as decorative accompaniment to their new collection. She was also a participating artist in last year’s 5x7 event at Arthouse.
Thompson, who also maintains a part-time job at the Texas Land Conservancy, is clearly dedicated to social causes as well. She donates 5% of every Etsy sale to Florida’s Eden, an environmental nonprofit in her native Florida.
Thompson's work can be found through her Etsy shop.
Much like Thompson’s exploration with different creative mediums, Misty Incontrera has had a similarly transformative Etsy experience. Opening her original ‘Recovered Vintage’ Etsy storefront in 2007, it wasn’t until earlier this year that she heeded the advice of friends, testing the waters with her own jewelry designs under the name susujane.
“I had this concept and I knew it was the right time for this design.”
“This design” refers to the group of delicate yet angular natural stone and chain necklaces that make up Incontrera’s self-proclaimed “simple collection of modern jewelry.” Although the summery green and blue options are still available online, she is moving toward warmer hues for the autumn months.
“It’s my Indian summer collection that I actually put out a little earlier. I wanted to do a lot of burnt sienna, nudes and peaches going into fall.”
With an eye for color and an obvious love of personal style, Incontrera credits Etsy for its inherently inspirational environment that lets people duck in and out, shop around and pick up even the smallest bits of creative fodder for their own projects.
“It’s a vast mecca of creative juices…It just attracts people with good eyes and good design aesthetic.”
And although she has gained traction with the online marketplace, Incontrera has also successfully bridged the online/offline gap.
“Etsy is an easy marketplace to work with and you have full control, but I love being in my local stores too.”
Incontrera’s designs can be found through her Etsy shop and locally at Bows + Arrows and Parts & Labour.